Wednesday, June 15, 2011

a 'letter to editor' received but unlikely to be published

The Snare
Letter to Editor
When I heard, I didn’t believe it. The members of an American delegation then on official visit to Pakistan entered the office of a major general (now retired) who was serving at a pivotal post, and during the course of meeting presented him the keys of a bullet proof vehicle they brought along with them from Washington. They were keenly concerned about the safety and security of the general, of course. But to their utter surprise, the general refused to accept the gift, saying his institution had provided him enough to meet his transport and security needs. I couldn’t believe that a General in the Pakistan GHQ would refuse the Americans. He paid the cost and retired as major general but why did he refuse the gift? “Such bullet proof vehicles are secure, but serve the purpose of dubbing exclusive or private conversations which they can use to achieve their ends. Already our everything is being recorded by mobile phone companies, the Blackberry has server in America and all emails channel through central control in the US. PTCL is already sold out, other ways of communication are not secure too. The equipment brought from US might have secret codes which only the Americans know; that’s why the radar system on May 2 was not working or at least could be dodged.
Why I am keen to recall the retired Major General’s is the report of a team of Pakistani journalists, anchorpersons and others led by Marvi Sirmad meeting the US Consul General in Karachi where the most senior journalists were provided with gifts of mobile phones, which they say are the most latest and sophisticated. It is feared that the cell phones will be interlinked and centrally monitored by the consulate staff. For many this can be the most desired gift, but for the security and integrity of the country and individuals this can be a hazard. You never know.
Marya Mufti, Lahore

2 comments:

  1. Should journalists accept gifts from foreign diplomats? Worth a discussion, I think.

    Tariq Mufti (no relation to letter writer above)

    Karachi

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  2. wow americans know Pakistani people too! we may not have even 10 rupees in pocket, but will have 25K+ cell phone or may be even two!!

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